Volvo is having an epic Christmas thanks to a wildly successful marketing campaign for their newly developed Dynamic Steering technology. Reminiscent of any great 80’s action film star, Jean-Claude Van Damme turned the volume of Volvo’s advertising exposure to a screaming 10 on November 13th of this year. In a YouTube video that received over 60 million views, Van Damme stands astride the side-view mirrors of two of Volvo’s newest trucks. As they slowly pull away from each other, the 53-year-old martial arts super-star performs the “most epic of splits” to stay astride the vehicles, apparently without the use of any safety equipment. On December 19th Chuck Norris repeated the Van Damme stunt and his message, in line with Chuck Norris legend, is, “Sorry Jean-Claude, my amp goes to 11.”
Van-Damme wowed the world with his athleticism in this YouTube video:
Not only did he pull off an incredibly technical “epic splits,” but he apparently did it in one take at sunset at a closed-off landing strip in Spain, but he looked great doing it. Viewers were amazed.
Shortly after the video went viral another one appeared, a spoof produced by Channing Tatum on the set of the upcoming 22 Jump Street, where the actor who plays Jenko in the popular undercover-cop-in-high school comedy with co-star Jonah Hill. In the video spoof, Tatum recites dialogue similar to that of the famed “Muscles from Brussels,” and attempts the same epic splits, between two rolling food carts. The results were arguably less-awesome.
Just in time for Christmas 2013, Chuck Norris, now 73, has thrown his (black, ten-gallon) hat into the ring. But as viewers will see, his performance raises the bar.
Norris is a famous action star from earlier in the same era as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dolph Lundgren, Sylvester Stallone and, of course, Jean-Claude Van Damme. He alone, however, has become the icon of invulnerable-virility, manly meme’s, and the receptacle of a spirit that says, “If you can do it, I can do it better.”
In this fan-produced digital take on the Volvo commercial, Norris performs the same stunt. As the camera pulls back from his expressionless, bearded face, it is quickly clear that Norris is at a higher altitude than the trucks in the Volvo commercial, and then Chuck turns up the volume on the Van Damme performance. Here’s the Christmas video that was put together by Delov Digital:
The parody has the melodic world-pop sounds of Enya playing in the background and a narrator—Chuck doesn’t speak, Chuck does—with a thick accent reads the lines from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act I, Scene I wherein Marcellus speaks of Christmas saying, “gainst that season comes wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated.”
Norris’ epic splits take place between two Lockheed C-130 Hercule’s. But the gag doesn’t end there. The camera continues to pull back to reveal a unit of men in tactical gear, presumably special forces of some sort—Chuck Norris only socializes with the deadliest men on Earth, obviously—forming a human pyramid on top of his head.
As the video concludes with a hearty Christmas greeting, the black-garbed cheer-squad is fully revealed to have assumed the shape of a traditional Christmas tree strung with lights. With the poise and control of an Olympic gymnastics team they light up one by one and, at the end, light off hand-held flares that stream sparks and smoke into contrails behind them.
Though it is a spoof, leave it to the spirit of Chuck Norris, king of the internet one-up, to outperform what was clearly a heavy dose of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s physical excellence. What’s more? During the whole performance, the black Stetson cowboy hat he made so famous during his time as Walker Texas Ranger doesn’t so much as wrinkle.
Hard men wear hard hats, and in this fan-produced Christmas video, Chuck Norris tells Van Damme—without uttering a single syllable—that even at 73, he’ll always be a little louder. It may not be fair though, because Chuck’s amp goes to 11.
By Matt Darjany